Your health is the most important thing that you have, and there is no better time than the present to look into sustainable ways to take better care of it. This can be challenging in a city with so many delicious food options such as Dubai. After all, there is always a new restaurant popping up that needs to be tried!
The good news is that you don’t have to completely overhaul your lifestyle to be healthier. Instead, by focusing on a few key habits, you will be eating (and feeling) better than ever in no time.
If you realize that the time to focus on your health is now, here are four ways to maintain a healthy diet while living in Dubai that you must consider.
1. Limit the number of sugary foods you consume
The first step in improving your diet is to focus on limiting the number of processed and sugary foods you consume on a regular basis. Unfortunately, the UAE is among the top consumers of sugar in the world, which means that most people need to work on making healthier choices, particularly when it comes to snacks.
While you don’t have to tell yourself that you are never going to eat Esh Hasarya again, you do need to limit your sugar intake.
Some easy ways to limit your sugar intake include restricting your consumption of soda, replacing your sweet desserts with fruit, choosing lower sugar condiments such as salsa or mustard, and reading food labels to become more aware of products with high-sugar ingredients.
2. Cut back on how often you eat out
While more and more restaurants are catering to those who are looking to eat healthier, the truth is that only by purchasing and cooking your own food can you have greater and better control over what you are putting in your body.
For many people in Dubai, brunch on a Friday is a common tradition that is both delicious and social. So, perhaps you should aim to continue with that event, but limit the number of times you eat out during the rest of the week.
Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to give up your social life, nor does it mean you can’t eat tasty food. It just means you need to do it in moderation and become more intentional with the times you choose to indulge.
If you run a restaurant that is looking to increase healthy food offerings, make sure you are working with foodservice distributors in the UAE that prioritize high-quality products.
3. Commit to “Meatless Mondays”
People all over the world are committing to “meatless Mondays” in an effort to increase their overall health and well-being and to do their part in saving the environment. Those who choose to consume less meat are intentionally acting to reduce their chances of developing heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes.
Plus, the emphasis on ingredients other than meats ensures that you are enhancing the diversity of nutritional items in your diet. Even just cutting out meat one day of the week will significantly improve your diet as you will be consuming more vegetables without even thinking about it.
4. Embrace the healthy aspects of Emirati cuisine
Luckily, due to the influence of Arabic, Iranian and Lebanese cuisine, Emirati cuisine has plenty of healthy dishes. Embracing the nutritious aspects of the cuisine, such as grilled meats (not on a Monday!), one-pot stews, and salads is a fantastic way to maintain your culinary traditions while also looking after your health.
For example, dates are the perfect snack for those living in Dubai as they are nutritious, healthy, and an essential part of the local diet. Fish is another staple of Emirati cuisine that is a healthy alternative to meat. In Dubai, you can find local fresh fish such as hamour that can be found in most supermarkets and restaurants.
On the other hand, to improve your health, you want to practice some restraint when it comes to eating khamir and chibab bread. Remember, everything in moderation!
What are you doing this year to improve your healthy eating habits in Dubai? Have you found any tips and tricks that work? Alternatively, are you continuously encountering challenges? Let us know in the comments below!